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By Visionary Realms, Inc.
$460,657 pledged of $800,000 goal

On Death in Pantheon


The world of Pantheon is fraught with danger. With perils around every corner the player must be prepared when exploring the world of Terminus. Exploring is very important to us as is respecting your environment. While it is easy for us to make an area dangerous to get through it is hard to place the player in a situation where they truly fear their surroundings if they do not fear the consequences of death.

Being a fallen hero, players are familiar with breaking the bonds of death and being reborn. Of course being reborn means you come into the world with nothing but the skin on your back and some conveniently placed clothing, that is if you choose to embrace death and release. If not, you can sit above a corpse like a ghostly watcher, for a period of time, while you wait for someone to offer you a resurrection.

Regardless of the route you choose, your corpse is an important thing because not only does it hold all of your gear but a portion of your experience. Experience is a measure of how powerful you have become but, like most things, what has been gained can also be lost. This means that losing too much XP can reduce your level making that corpse even more important.

But death is not the end. If you choose to leave your corpse you will appear at your last bind point with a single burning desire… TO FIND AND RETRIEVE YOUR CORPSE! Now you consider your options carefully when at this point because you want to get as much of your experience back as is allowed. So what are your options? Well, players can resurrect you which, depending on the level, will give you back a portion of your experience, teleport you to your corpse, and give you resurrection effects. This is the most optimal option but it is only available for a certain period of time since corpses have a resurrection timer on them. Can’t find a player who can cast resurrection? You may have to find a a way back to your corpse or ask someone to drag it to you.

So what if you can’t find your corpse? Don’t worry because some players may be able to locate your corpse through the use of mystical abilities. So now that you have found your corpse, what happens if you loot it? If you loot all the items on your corpse you will recover a little bit of the experience on it and of course you will be able to get all of your gear.

So what happens if you can’t find anyone to help you and getting back to your corpse is not an option? You can always ask your god but be warned this comes at a heavy cost. The gods are not ones to interfere for free and rarely do they perform a task in the manner you desire. In order to get help from your god you must first find a prayer altar. Then, the gods ask that you give them some of your experience before they will summon your belongings. When this is done they will return your items to you and destroy your corpse and all experience on it.

This is the early design of Death in Pantheon, while we try to make death something to be feared, but not something that will cause unreasonable amounts of grief. The system will be tested during our alpha and beta phases and is subject to modification.

Forlaen, Pharone The Gnome, and 59 more people like this update.


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    1. Missing avatar

      bountycode on February 17, 2014



    2. Justin R Sivret on February 16, 2014

      Corpse runs! The most used excuse as to why I was late for work

    3. Missing avatar

      Logad on February 16, 2014

      There is one drawback with a penalty like this, dungeons without interesting rewards will be empty. There were many such dungeons in EQ. Many of them fun to crawl but very hard to get a group for them. I'm not sure how to solve this.

      VG had it right with dungeons to crawl from level 6. Lots of fun from start but DP was too soft but xp is xp so we always tried to recover.

    4. anita bradbury on February 16, 2014

      Live this. Corpse run for the win :-). Good times. Great memories. Freaked me out when I went back to vg and had no corpse when I died

    5. Arctic_Slicer on February 15, 2014

      Gadgetprop; you're in the minority here. The purpose of having death penalties like EverQuest is to encourage people to group, but not only group, but to group with specific classes that will increase the survivability of the group and reduce the chances of dying. If death is feared; people will seek the good tank, seek the good healer, seek the slower, etc. all so they can avoid death.

      This is the kind of penalty most of us that have been following this game want. There are dozens, possibly hundreds, of games out there were death is so meaningless that someone can "Leroy Jenkins" themselves and it wont make a bit of difference. We want one game that dares to bring back the risk of death that has been missing since the old days of EverQuest.

    6. Missing avatar

      Warren Nelson
      on February 15, 2014

      ahh, corpse runs, a return of a favorite time sink from EQ

    7. Arctic_Slicer on February 15, 2014

      "nothing but the skin on your back and some conveniently placed clothing". I'm guessing that is a fancy way of saying you respawn in your underwear.

      Looks like you mean to bring back old school EverQuest style death penalties. I love it!

      This update has made me very very happy.

    8. Missing avatar

      Gadgetprop on February 15, 2014

      I fear that having all equipment left on the corpse will go against the aim of the game being playable for 1-2 hours. Losing equipment isn't really possible due to the altars, so that's not even technically a risk (unless you forget to use it in time). Losing several hours worth of xp can ruin your day and death often isn't your fault. Wipes often broke up groups in EQ, the time it takes just to get back to your spot is bad enough. I understand making death bad enough you won't do a Leroy Jenkins, or kill yourself just to teleport to bind, but it shouldn't be ragequit-worthy. I recall when Vanguard launched, one person tried to break a bandit camp by himself and kept dying over and over, and the xp debt was growing and he told me he was so frustrated he was going to cancel his account; death shouldn't be THAT bad. At cap, death isn't as big of a deal, even if rez were taken out of the game; xp debt is fine for grinders, having a second death penalty that kicks in at cap would be superior to xp loss. The best thing I can think of is that your chance of getting loot is reduced, kind of a 'loot debt' that can be reduced by sacrificing items at altars, or possibly getting drops or xp.

      I played as a cleric in EQ in 2002 and several things about resurrection bugged me. Many people would shout for a rez for hours (couldn't help them on my alts) rather than try to find a group and regain the xp, and the channel spam and begging bothered me. People would refuse lower percentage rezzes, trying to get a high one. There was essentially only one class that got an 'acceptable' rez spell. Making it so low-level players can't get high-level rezzes is a possible mitigation, or that you can only be resurrected by someone who was in your party when you died.

    9. Missing avatar

      P99Zeshtariblue on February 14, 2014

      would be nice if we could chose to leave some coin on corpse instead of an item, frees up an inventory slot :)

    10. p99KarmrBLUE on February 14, 2014

      Like the harsher than norm penalties, hoping you can keep it and not cave to the folks that will scream bloody murder. Here's to The Vision!

    11. Visionary Realms, Inc. Creator on February 14, 2014

      @Pete Actually let me correct myself. I was thinking of another game not VG. My fault on that Pete.

    12. Visionary Realms, Inc. Creator on February 14, 2014

      @Pete VG had virtually no death penalty, xp debt and item damage do not make you fear dying especially at cap. This has a similar mechanic in the way of summoning but this is more inspired by EQ. I still want to incorporate some aspects of the Dark Souls death penalties in but hard to get around one glaring problem when it comes to the MMO side of things.

    13. Visionary Realms, Inc. Creator on February 14, 2014

      @Zis Generally in the endgame people have access to someone who can rez them especially in a raid force. But if people choose to pay exp to get their belongings they will be getting hit with a double xp penalty which at max level would make you quickly go under that.If people want to loot their corpse they will regain "some" XP back but the amount is intended to be a consolation prize for getting your corpse. It would be much wiser to leave an item on the corpse and try to get a rez.

    14. Missing avatar

      Pete on February 14, 2014

      uh, pretty much the exact same death mechanic to vg, why did it take so long to reveal this piece of info :P

    15. PhoneticHalo on February 14, 2014

      ok rereading maybe i got it wrong. but still feel the death penalty is weakest at the "endgame" where it need to be the hardest.

    16. PhoneticHalo on February 14, 2014

      Yeah I understand why people would want this. Its just personal preference. My main worry is that once you are max level dying is not going to mean much at all. The only time its going to be a pain is the levelling process. In the example you said with Fear, everyone is going to pray to gods. The exp hit is going to have to be very big to turn people away. And also having no exp loss when looting your corpse will make death meaningless in most situation and take away the power and need of a rez. Even a rez in EQ was not 100% exp.

      Maybe im wrong and of course these things will need to be tested and so on. was just my initial impression. The idea is better than most just not 100%. but like i said you cant make everyone happy.

    17. Akailis on February 14, 2014

      Drop your pants, grit your teeth and take it like a school boy. These are the mechanics that draw the line in the sand. Love it, love the fact you put it right out there. Shows you are out to make the game you want to make without any thought of going mainstream, even if it is subject to testing. (Absolutely fair).

    18. Ahwey on February 14, 2014

      @Zisamren Your comment doesn't make sense... This penalty is a near copy of the early EQ death penalty. There's an added component that gives a nod to VG mechanics but at a further penalty (exp wise) to the EQ system.

      For all intents and purposes, this mechanic provides an acknowledgement that the people who played and loved the original EQ are farther on in life and may not be able to complete a 2 to 4 hour corpse recovery within reasonable playing allowances and provides a way out.. but that way out is not an "I am entitled to have everything" route. Opting to use an alter of the gods, the way I read this, requires a further tithing of exp to the gods. So not only do you encounter full exp loss for the death, but you incur additional exp loss if you resort to the alter.

      Having a full time job and family these days, I know full well if I were to get stuck in an original (pre-expansion) EQ experience like a break into Fear that went awry, I don't have the 2 to 4 hours that it would require to get established in and recover the gear from a corpse. I contend that this is a reasonable enough allowance for this. Were I on the design team, I would place the EXP loss for an altered corpse between 25 and 50% of a level. You lose a level as a result of using the alter, suck it up buttercup. Put on your big boy pants and earn it back!

    19. Visionary Realms, Inc. Creator on February 14, 2014

      @Zisamren What do you mean by the EQ route exactly Zis?

    20. Jayme Edwards on February 14, 2014

      Great initial design. I'm excited.

    21. PhoneticHalo on February 14, 2014

      This isn't what i wanted to hear. But glad you mad a decision on it. Once you get to max lvl dying wont matter unless the exp loss is crazy. Personally i wish you had gone the EQ route. This game is getting further and further away from an old school throw back. talk of radars, dungeon finders, auction houses, fast travel and not so extreme death penalties. Well you cant please everyone.

    22. Missing avatar

      Otheophilus on February 14, 2014

      I was at work when I saw this and I let out a very involuntary and loud gasp and the people next to me gave me an interesting look - best... news... ever...

    23. Missing avatar

      Avvy on February 14, 2014

      EQ took FOREVER to max level, since then everything takes about 1 month. In my experience anyway.

    24. Missing avatar

      sdcord on February 14, 2014

      Paying 200 plat for a locate. Pst.

    25. Missing avatar

      P99IzadunBLUE on February 14, 2014

      YES! Finally my heart can once again stop then pound simply from the fear of death! /surname Safetyfirst

    26. Missing avatar

      Shawn Fuller (deleted) on February 14, 2014

      At last an actual penalty for dieing again and the possibility of getting your corpse back with out a naked CR if your can't do it. Options are good. Now as long as it doesn't only take 1 month to max level out it might make the game last longer. I have never maxed my level in EQ 1 (even now I am 96). Other games I have maxed out in 1-2 months of very casual playing and then quit as there is nothing more for me to strive for. (I don't like raids so that is my only goal)

    27. Missing avatar

      Avvy on February 14, 2014

      Sounds perfect. Now someone please donate 400k so I can sleep easy.

    28. Michael on February 14, 2014

      Fantastic write-up! This is one of the reasons we back Pantheon. Bring back the fear!

    29. Swordsaint on February 14, 2014

      I hope the fence sitters put up or shut up now after seeing this

    30. Missing avatar

      Kevin N. Weinhold on February 14, 2014

      "it is hard to place the player in a situation where they truly fear their surroundings if they do not fear the consequences of death."

      Indeed, and short of actually losing your PC, any penalty that lets you keep your PC is just an inconvenience. Now, losing your PC after one single death is pretty hardcore, so the alternative is to have each death bring you one step closer to never getting your PC. That is, have a limited number of deaths the PC can experience, and you have a true dread of death.

    31. MurZerker on February 14, 2014

      "In order to get help from your god you must first find a prayer altar. Then, the gods ask that you give them some of your experience before they will summon your belongings. When this is done they will return your items to you and destroy your corpse and all experience on it. "

      Note the forth word from the end; all. I am assuming that means all of the EXP you would lose from a death, and not all of your EXP. Sadly, some people may not understand the meaning in this case.

    32. Missing avatar

      P99...Cayn Enable…Blue on February 14, 2014

      Pretty much the same as a SK pet being weaker then a Necro pet, a Necro is mana based and a SK is more melee, the necro is capable of putting more into his pet, it is what he studies and puts his self into, a SK does not have the devotion to do so….… kinda of the same principle...

    33. Missing avatar

      P99...Cayn Enable…Blue on February 14, 2014

      I look at it as a ability to channel the necessary energy to rez, ok a 0% rez takes minimal channeling/ability multiple classes can do this (cleric, pally).. the higher the % experience recovered requires more channeling abilities , hence the cleric devoting to such tasks is able to rez at a higher lvl of exp recovered. A pally is not devoted to be able to summon that much power to fully grant a 100% heal…. Just can't explain it the way I see it I guess….

    34. Missing avatar

      p99AnsomanBLUE on February 14, 2014

      I think cleric should have the best overall Rez. I liked the fact that other classes paled in comparison in EQ1. It added a lot of value and uniqueness to the class and I believe it fosters the idea of relying on other players. I was even off-put by pallies obtaining a 90%.

    35. Rick Small
      on February 14, 2014

      IMO, Resurrection is an ability. A state, if you will.

      A heal is a value. A number of health points versus your maximum. You can be partially healed, fully, healed, etc.

      But you are either resurrected or you are not. Therefore *if* your diety grants this power, than it should be the same power for all.

      And from an RP perspective, "Sorry BigMightyGod, but although I am your servant and you have given me the power to resurrect, I shall instead take the resurrection offered by my buddy Jobar over here, since his god gave him a better one."

    36. Susan Platter on February 14, 2014

      I agree with Robert Lunt, both about corpse runs (I hate 'em but they do add that frisson!) and about clerics' resurrection abilities compared with other classes'. I think that, while only a cleric should be able to offer that rare 100% res, maybe, just maybe, others should also be able to give 96%. I am not sure about that but have thought about it while playing EverQuest.

    37. Missing avatar

      P99...Cayn Enable…Blue on February 14, 2014

      Umm.. clerics are the pure healers in most cases, they have more powerful heals so a more powerful rez is expected.. adds the the "roll" every class has. Its a trade off for each class.. a cleric devotes to healing a pally does not.

    38. Liam Lightfoot on February 14, 2014

      very cool. really like this idea.

    39. Rick Small
      on February 14, 2014

      I agree with @Robert Lunt Rez should be a power that you either have or don't. Obviously different classes may get it at different levels (or not at all of course), but if they get the power to rez, then it should be the same as every other class who gets it.

      As a "former EQ Paladin" it is pretty sad that I wouldn't even take my *own* rez

    40. Missing avatar

      Robert Lunt on February 14, 2014

      Sounds good. As much as I hated corpse runs they really added an element of danger which is missing in modern games.

      My one hope is that Cleric ressurects aren't better than all other ressurects. That was one aspect of EQ1 that bothered me. What's the point of giving a ressurect ability to other classes if nobody would accept a ressurect from anyone but a max level Cleric?

    41. Rick Small
      on February 14, 2014


      My opinion is that the fear of death is what makes your character so dear to you. When they can just pop right back up with no consequences, then they are "just a toon."

    42. Doramos
      on February 14, 2014

      Oh yes!
      I love this. The added part about asking a favor from a god is a nice addition that doesn't take away the fear of death. Just make sure it's a stiff enough penalty to make people actually think twice and we're golden.

    43. Corpselocker on February 14, 2014

      I hope there is 'some' buffer at Max level. Maybe one death's worth that you can accumulate.

    44. Nydan on February 14, 2014

      "So what happens if you can’t find anyone to help you and getting back to your corpse is not an option? You can always ask your god but be warned this comes at a heavy cost. The gods are not ones to interfere for free and rarely do they perform a task in the manner you desire. In order to get help from your god you must first find a prayer altar. Then, the gods ask that you give them some of your experience before they will summon your belongings. When this is done they will return your items to you and destroy your corpse and all experience on it. "

      Excellent addition for those that can't recovery there corpses... from places like PoF...

      I do hope it is a heavy penalty.

    45. Missing avatar

      Raphael diSanto on February 14, 2014

      Oh! I missed the delevelling thing. Yes, yes, and more yes. Definitely need this.